We know there may be medical situations that occur that are detrimental and even life-changing.
We all expect the medical professionals you trust to follow through with the highest quality care. Unfortunately, sometimes the care can be negligent. As a result, medical malpractice causes serious, life-changing injuries, and even death.
Doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, chiropractors, and physical therapists can make mistakes that lead to injuries. In South Carolina an injured person can bring a claim against the hospital, medical practice clinic, nursing home or other medical institutions which employ the medical professional who is at fault.
Injuries due to medical malpractice can happen in almost any place and under virtually any condition. Medical malpractice can happen in places such as emergency rooms, operating rooms, and doctor’s offices.
Three Elements Essential To A Medical Malpractice Case
When you are sick or injured, you place your trust in doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to provide the treatment and care that will help you to get better. If the care rendered to you does not meet acceptable standards, you might have a claim against the provider for medical malpractice. It might help you to know when you should speak to a lawyer for medical neglect or malpractice by becoming familiar with the three elements of a typical malpractice case.
The existence of a doctor-patient relationship
This element of a medical malpractice case is usually easy to establish. Chances are that you went to your doctor’s office for treatment, or you might have been taken to a hospital emergency department by ambulance. It is usually pretty clear when the relationship between you and your doctor began.
A doctor-patient relationship would not exist if you complain about a headache to a family member who offers you medication a doctor prescribed for that person. If the medication makes you ill, you would not have recourse against the doctor who prescribed it because of the lack of a doctor-patient relationship.
Negligence by the doctor
Even when a doctor does everything right, a patient might suffer from an adverse reaction to the treatment. Med malpractice lawyers and courts understand this and look for evidence to show that the health care professional was negligent in either diagnosing or treating the condition.
Medical professionals must perform to a standard of skill and care normally expected of their profession. For example, a surgeon is held to the standard of skill and knowledge expected of doctors of that particular specialty. What is expected is not the skill and knowledge of the best surgeon in the world, but only that of the average surgeon working under the same or similar conditions.
You must suffer from an injury related to the doctor’s negligence
If your treatment by a doctor causes you harm, you might be entitled to sue for medical malpractice. The challenge for medical neglect lawyers is linking the negligence by the doctor to the harm you suffered.
For example, a patient dies after undergoing treatment for cancer. The patient’s family discovers that a nurse working at the hospital where the patient was being treated administered the wrong medication. The family might not have a claim against the hospital and the nurse for medical malpractice unless it can be proven that the mistake caused the patient to die or suffer some other injury.
The harm to a patient might not be the result of an action taken by a doctor or other health care provider. The failure of a doctor to diagnose a medical condition can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit if the undiagnosed condition worsens and either cannot be treated or becomes more difficult to treat because of the delay.
Consulting with a lawyer for medical neglect advice is essential if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice. Keep in mind that state laws impose restrictions on how long you have to file a claim against a doctor before losing your right to compensation.